Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7259 by Nestor

Posted by nmsindy on January 21st, 2010


Very inventive and satisfying puzzle from Nestor, quite hard, solving time 45 mins.

* = anagram   < = reversed


1 A  NDROMEDA GALAXY    (Gary Oldman  axed)*

10 LEANEST     “Art showing tendency that’s most stripped-down”    Not fully understood.  Definition: most-stripped down, I’d say, and “showing tendency” also suggests ‘lean’ but don’t get the rest

11 HUN GARY    Gary Player (golfer)      Very good


13 POL A RISE    (a lop)<

14 OUT SETS    Closet drama designed to be read, not acted.   Outset = start = opening

16 Shirt IDLING  (in neutral eg car)

19 MET ALL IC(y)     Another one I liked a lot

22 M ELBA    (able)<

24 GEORGIA   (Aggro i.e.)*

25 PER SIAN     Liked this

26 DELIRIUM TREMENS    Effect of too much alcohol.     Jimjams is another name for it, as well as meaning pyjamas, hence the use of ‘nightcaps’, I guess


1 John GAL LIAN O    (nail lag)<


3 BEAT-UP      beat = copper circuit ie police!     UP = in operation (computer term)

4 EAR H OLES    (hear)*   OLÉS  = flamenco cheers!

5 Gloria GAYNOR  (singer)   “gainer”

6 LA M  AR(SEILLA)ISE    French national anthem     bands together = allies<    lam = beat  emerge = arise

8 DEA (D TO T  HE W OR) L   D     Definition = out     D = daughter  child = tot   cut = hew   agreement = deal   finally wanted = last letter

9 YO-YO    This refers to the cellist   Yo-Yo Ma  ie taking a bow

15 S (YLLAB) UB    bally<  = ruddy   (mild swear word)

17 DEMURRED     MURDERED  starting with the heart (DE)!

18 GLAS (NO) S   T      that’s top = t

20 ANGERS    Double definition

21 Truman  CAP (OT)E      (pace)*    old canon = OT (Old Testament)

23 AGED     Dega(s)<

23 Responses to “Independent 7259 by Nestor”

  1. anax says:

    Belting crozzer from a top setter.

    I latched on to 10a fairly quickly as it reminded me of the old “art tutor” clue, where “art” is the archaic form of “are”, matched of course by “-est” at the end, so here we could say “Thou art showing tendency” = “Thou leanest”.

    BTW – at 1a the name you meant to type was Gary Oldman. It’s a superb anagram is that!

  2. anax says:

    Sorry – I meant to include that “art tutor” was a device used as the wordplay for the answer TEA CHEST (i.e. “teachest”).

  3. nmsindy says:

    Typo in 1a corrected, thanks.

  4. NealH says:

    I’m not sure I follow your explanation for 14. I interpreted it more that an “out” (i.e. openly gay) set would be unsuitable for something that was “in the closet”.

  5. Mick H says:

    Some great definitions and sub-defs here: ‘copper circuit’, ‘irony’ and the three famous people defs – ‘Player of golf’, Ma taking a bow’ and ‘singing Gloria’, which almost amounted to a mini-theme.
    I read OUTSETS in the same way as NealH.

  6. Richard Heald says:

    Have to agree with Mick – I doubt whether there’s a setter alive who can beat Nestor for definitional subterfuge. ‘Ma taking a bow’ had me beat, but of course was perfectly fair.

    There’s a mini-theme, I think, that runs through all of Nestor’s puzzles, so I’m pretty sure Neal and Mick’s interpretation of OUTSETS was correct!

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thought this was quite a toughie, and was pleased to finish everything apart from the SE corner where DEMURRED and GLASNOST were beyond me today. But although I didn’t understand the wordplay for all my answers, the clueing was fair everywhere. A super anagram at 1ac, and 19ac, with irony for METALLIC, was equally as good as Phi’s use on Monday of ‘sounds petty’ to clue MIAOWS.

  8. Quixote says:

    Classy stuff from a very able colleague. Tough but fair.

  9. Nestor says:

    Thanks for the comments.

    No one’s mentioned the Nina, a (non-famous) name embedded as a prize in a charity auction.

  10. davey b says:

    Can anyone find the NINA? I can’t.

  11. nmsindy says:

    Not sure about it, but there’s NESTOR in the LEANEST and ACTOR below it.

  12. eimi says:

    The Nina is in a square of unchecked letters

  13. davey b says:


    Can you please be more explicit, or tell me what the NINA is?

    I still can’t find it!

  14. eimi says:

    Start at the M in come true and go east, then south from the G in Hungary, west from the second R in demurred and north from the R in Georgia

  15. IanN14 says:

    I know this is way too late, and I’d got it before eimi’s last message, but it’s Mary Giles Robertson, isn’t it?

  16. IanN14 says:

    …and I had to do that by recreating the grid from the answers above, because I did it online last Thursday, and, unlike the Guardian, when it’s gone, it’s gone.
    Now, back to work…

  17. davey b says:

    Thanks for all your help. But, who is Mary Giles Robertson?

  18. eimi says:

    See comment 9 from the horse’s mouth

  19. nmsindy says:

    Very well hidden, that – well, I couldn’t find it anyway until given the v precise guidance.

  20. davey b says:

    I must be thick. What does “a(non-famous)name embedded as a prize in a charity auction” mean?

  21. nmsindy says:

    I assumed it meant she would see her name in the paper as a prize.

  22. uncle yap says:

    As usual, I did the Indy days after (if only they have a printable version) and thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle. Like many others, I was fooled by yo-yo (bravo, Nestor).

    However, this joyous feeling has been somewhat spoiled by “Who shot JR Ewing?” aka “Who is mary giles robertson?”

    Can someone put me out of my misery?

  23. Nestor says:

    I thought I explained: she’s the person who made the winning bid in an auction for charity, in which I offered the prize of having one’s name hidden in the Independent crossword. (Well, actually, she’s the mother of the winner, but you don’t know who he is, either.)

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